Singapore – India Collaboration Benefits 100,000 Mothers and Newborns

A three-year collaborative capacity building initiative, the Enhancing Maternal and Child Health Services (EMCH) Programme successfully resulted in nearly 180 Indian healthcare professionals across the Southern Indian state of Karnataka trained. In the process of upskilling these healthcare professionals, at least 100,000 pregnant mothers and newborns have benefited from better quality healthcare services. The EMCH Programme was a three-year specialist programme implemented by the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) in partnership with SingHealth and the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare (SIHFW), Government of Karnataka. The EMCH Programme was designed to help augment the government’s efforts to tackle preventable causes of both infant and maternal deaths, with the aim of reducing infant deaths and ensuring safer pregnancies for more women.

Mr Jawaid Akthar, Principal Secretary of Health (Health and Family Services) for the Government of Karnataka (centre, with green lanyard) lights an Indian lamp as a customary gesture to kickstart the symposium. He is flanked by Indian counterparts from the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare (SIHFW), and Singaporeans from the SIF and SingHealth.
A/Prof Tan Hak Koon, SIF Specialist Team Leader and Senior Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology shared that the event was his seventh time in Bangalore and that he has learnt a lot from his Indian counterparts as they had from him. He also shared that medicine was a team game and the best way to move forward was to continue learning from each other.
Ms Rebecca Boon, Head, Volunteer Cooperation, SIF presents a token of appreciation to Mr Jawaid Akthar, Principal Secretary of Health (Health and Family Services) for the Government of Karnataka. Prior to this, Mr Akthar had shared that the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) had dropped by more than 50% from 144 to 2014 to less than 70 in 2019.
The symposium was attended by over 100 healthcare professionals from across the state, encouraging vibrant discourse from the eager participants who wanted more insights from their Singaporean counterparts and Indian peers.
Key healthcare leaders and professionals from Singapore and Karnataka convened in Bangalore for a symposium discussing key learnings and experiences gained from the three-year Enhancing Maternal and Child Health Services Programme in Karnataka.
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